The Bombay High Court granted interim relief to actor Salman Khan, on Tuesday, and stayed till May 5 the summons issued against him by the Andheri Metropolitan Magistrate’s Court based on a journalist’s 2019 complaint.
Journalist Ashok Pandey had accused the actor of criminal intimidation. In his complaint, Pandey alleged that Khan, who was cycling on a street in Mumbai, had snatched his mobile phone when some media persons started clicking the actor’s photos. He further added that Khan had threatened him.
Initially, Pandey had filed a complaint alleging offences under sections 324 (voluntarily hurting by dangerous weapon or means), 392 (punishment for robbery), 426 (punishment for mischief), 506 and 34 (criminal act by several people with common intention) of the Indian Penal Code. He also sought for an FIR to be registered.
But, the magistrate had turned down the request for an FIR and instead directed that the police carry out an investigation under section 202 of the CrPC to ensure if there was sufficient grounds to proceed with a case against Khan and his bodyguard.
After investigation, the police had reported that only offences under sections 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC were made out and process was issued accordingly.
The magistrate court had also issued summons to the actor, returnable on Tuesday.
However, Khan had challenged the magistrate court’s order issuing the summons and moved the High Court seeking to quash the proceedings.
On Tuesday, when hearing the actor’s petition, the High Court stayed the magistrate’s order that summoned Khan and his bodyguard Nawaz Shaikh.
The court made the ruling after noting the improvements made to Pandey’s complaint. The court added that being a journalist, he should not have kept quiet and all his allegations should have been mentioned in his first complaint itself.
Khan’s counsel had pointed out that on April 24, 2019, the day of the incident, a complaint was sent to the police in which the journalist had claimed that his phone was snatched, whereas in the criminal complaint to the magistrate, several changes were made.
Khan’s counsel also argued that the actor had merely asked his bodyguard to stop Pandey from clicking pictures, and so, if anyone was to be prosecuted, it should be the bodyguard and not Khan.